On Thursday, June 28, over 40 guests gathered at Bella Luna & The Milky Way Lounge to attend a summer shindig in support of Teens in Print’s Summer Journalism Institute.

A unique, high-quality program that is completely free to Boston students and families, the Summer Journalism Institute provides six weeks of academic learning and enrichment to Boston teens.

In celebration of their 25th anniversary in November 2018, Bella Luna & The Milky Way Lounge have been graciously hosting a series of benefit events for their non-profit neighbors. In furthering their mission of hospitality with a purpose, we partnered together so we all could have a good time for a great cause.

Guests arrived to a mouth-watering pizza buffet, a well-stocked bar, and teens hungry for conversation (…and the pizza). The space was decorated beautifully, and an air of excitement permeated the room.

After everyone was adequately fed and hydrated, our group made their way into the Milky Way Lounge for an introduction by Carla Gualdron, Teens in Print Director. She explained that while the Summer Journalism Institute is free to students, it isn’t free to run. Each year, WriteBoston raises approximately $1,500 per student to cover the costs of staffing, food, and supplies for the program.

She then handed the microphone over to one of our teen journalists, Kenneth, who would be hosting round one of our trivia challenge. The theme of the round was summer, with questions ranging from the difference between Connecticut and Maine lobster rolls to the highest-grossing summer blockbuster. Our top four finishers were Bob, Jenny, Jim, and Mark, who earned the privilege of facing off against our teens in round two!

The second round featured our adults (Team “Alive in 1996”) versus Clinton, Ivy, Jacob, and Kenneth, our teens who formed “The WIN Team.” Styled after Jeopardy, categories included “AP Style 101,” “Teen Journalist Talk,” “Fake News(people),” “Publication Scrambles,” and “Pre-2000 Headlines.” Heading into the final round the teens took a sizable lead, but the adults still had a chance to come out on top.

For all the marbles:

After all the smoke cleared we found out that no one knew the correct answer of 2004! But The WIN Team finished with the most money, winning some goodie bags–and more importantly–bragging rights.

Executive Director Sarah Poulter ended the night by reminding everyone the reason we all were in attendance: to support teen journalists in their pursuit for accessible and invigorating literacy development. Every student in the Summer Journalism Institute receives free breakfast, access to a take-home laptop, and individualized mentoring. While other pre-college summer journalism programs exist in Boston, similar programs can cost families more than $2,500 for only two weeks. In contrast, SJI is completely free to approximately 30 to 35 students and gives them access to pre-college learning that stems summer learning loss.

Thanks to our incredible community of supporters, the event raised over $5,000 for the Summer Journalism Institute. As you read this, teens are already knee-deep in creating their articles for our upcoming September 2018 issue. Stay tuned to all things Teens in Print by following them on Facebook, Twitter, and their website.